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Leases not renewed for some businesses to make room for new tenant

By AMANDA SCOTT

Staff writer

Changes are coming soon to the Calvert Village Shopping Center in Prince Frederick, according to the real estate company that owns it.

On Thursday, Howard Biel, vice president of ECHO Real Estate Services, said the Calvert Village Shopping Center may be receiving a new tenant, though he couldn’t say which, in the near future.

According to Biel, when the company bought Calvert Village Shopping Center late last year, the company “knew it really needed some help.”

He said the company knew it wanted to redevelop the area and put in another major store to help balance the shopping center, which currently houses a Safeway grocery store.

The “major store ... new to Calvert County ... and that we think would be very well received” by residents is close to finalizing a lease with ECHO Real Estate Services, Biel said. He said he could not disclose the name of the business, but did say it’s a business he believes the “Calvert County residential base will very much like.”

For the redevelopment, Biel said, the breezeway area and the immediately surrounding area of Calvert Village will be demolished, displacing about “five or so impacted parties.” Biel said he could not disclose the names of the affected businesses at this time. He clarified that the stores from the breezeway to the Safeway are not planned for demolition — just the breezeway and surrounding businesses.

Biel said the leases for the affected businesses that are currently in Calvert Village permit the company to terminate a lease “if we gave them sufficient time” to find a new location.

“Some of the folks are moving forward” and finding new locations, Biel said, adding that about two or three of the affected businesses have found a new location.

Biel acknowledged, though, that some of the affected businesses “are very upset,” but that the owners do understand it is permitted in the lease.

Danita Boonchaisri, Calvert County business development specialist, said last week that Calvert County Economic Development has been talking with the affected business owners, “trying to help them relocate and figure out their next move and what their business model is.”

Biel said in a week or two, he would be able to disclose more information and “fill in the blanks.”

ascott@somdnews.com